Grain Silos: Off the Farm, Into The Suburbs

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Not long ago, we talked about shipping containers popping up more frequently as types of living spaces, commercial buildings and more. That original post got us thinking and sparked a bit of a hunt for other types of ‘alternative’ homes.

How about this for pondering… ever thought of a home made out of a grain silo?

Okay – unless you come from heart of the prairies like us, not everyone will know what a grain silo is.  I know them all too well – being from Saskatchewan and having family in the farming industry, I spent quite a few of my childhood summers hanging around these giant grain repositories.

I don’t think it would be too farfetched seeing these pop up here in Saskatchewan – you know, being a bunch of farmers and all. No, really. Saskatchewan IS known for its thriving farming industry.

But, could you see these as a future category of real estate listing? Just like shipping containers, these steel units are proving to be both trendy and perhaps a bit easier on the bank account.

Have a look at this remodeled grain silo. This quaint little home is actually located on an old homestead right here in Saskatchewan.

Not too shabby for a bachelor pad! I know I wouldn’t mind one of these myself. Check out the inside of this little marvel:

 

 

 

 

 

Want something a little bit bigger? How about this 1800 square foot double- silo home in Woodland, Utah, designed by Gigaplex Architects, otherwise known as the ‘Monte-Silo.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the pièce de résistance…the sleeping quarters! It seems that this is everyone’s favorite part, including mine. Reminiscent of a sleeping bunker in a train – this looks so cozy! And I’m pretty sure I could handle the stereo sound and flat screen accompanying each bedroom nook.

As we strive to become better friends with the environment, it’s no secret that ‘green’ thinking is on the rise – a re-purposed silo might be just what mother nature ordered to offset your carbon footprint.

If you are looking for more grain bin or silo homes, be sure to search Point2 Homes. Commenter Jay was able to find this amazing converted silo in New York state.

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48 comments

  1.    Reply

    […] of course, we can’t forget the unusual home that started it all (and went viral). Click here to see our original post on Grain Silo homes. Some helpful commenters later taught us that the residences featured are made out of grain bins, […]

  2.    Reply

    I live in one on Clinton Mo. I was skeptical when I first went to look at the apartment but it is very well done inside, cozy, and inexpensive. Ours has a large 3 story outdoor deck and night in the lounge chair under the stars are wonderful!

    1.    Reply

      Thanks for telling us! We bet some of our readers are envious!

  3.    Reply

    […] silo homes blog post had a pretty amazing ripple effect on Facebook. Over 300,000 people checked out our blog post and […]

  4.    Reply

    Would it be possible to join some together?

    1.    Reply

      Good question Tom. We haven’t come across images of silos or bins used together yet, but I’m sure they are out there!

  5.    Reply

    It may not be ideal to build with a grain bin in a windy location or an area known to get wind storms. After tornadoes and strong winds, grain bins can be seen crushed, folded, blown off foundations, etc. I’m sure most of these were empty, but having a living space inside wouldn’t add much density to it; not compared to a full load of grain. Other than that-great idea!

  6.    Reply

    These are cool but what do you do in a lightening storm. How are they grounded. I’d be worried about power surges and losing stuff every time a storm came. I really like the way they look but they also scream out “strike me” with all that metal.

    1.    Reply

      there were three grain bins out back of my house that were no longer in use, we turned one into a chicken coupe, and I’ve had offers on the other two of ppl wanting to buy them but I didn’t want to sell them because I knew they could be repurposed into something useful one day. thanks to y’all turning on the light bulb in my head the kids are gonna have a sweet playhouse/ playground area. and the beautiful thing is it will be cheaper and easier than staying from scratch, not to mention this way there will be no trying to get electric in the middle of the yard somewhere because it’s already there

  7.    Reply

    These aren’t silos but are grain bins. Many can be bought used.

  8.    Reply

    And anchor to the ground of course a money saver and a space saver in the garage

  9.    Reply

    I wouldn’t mind getting hold of a old grain silo for free or very little money from a a farmer reasonable cheap or one for free and stink it by back yard and turn it into a storage shed to Dave Thor space in garage and a place to kept the mower dry and out of the weather and xmas totes that would be awesome a money saver and no buying shed

  10.    Reply

    My aunt in Missouri turned hers into a quilting barn for her machines and fabrics. They air conditioned and lighted it, put in a good floor and it even has an old Coke machine inside that they stock…..My uncle was a soybean farmer for 45 years and this grain silo was left on his farm. Works great !

  11.    Reply

    I sell new ones of all sizes.

  12.    Reply

    My grandfather had two that were attachd by leaving out part of the wall to make an 8 shaped building.He cut a doorway into on end and had a garage with space enough for benches in the curved areas.

  13.    Reply

    There is a 2 silo setup in Gilbert, Az. I think one side are the bedrooms and the other the living space. Really cute. On Pecos Dr. between Lindsay an Gilbert.

  14.    Reply

    Their called grain bins. Silos are tall and corn plants chopped up and put in there to ferment. Used to feed cattle during the winter.

    1.    Reply

      Thanks, Ben! Another sharp reader alerted us to the mistake already… you’d think we’d know better out here on the prairies.

  15.    Reply

    Love this, so cool and could side by for extra bedrooms. Could do so much with this.

  16.    Reply

    I have a grainery with 20 sections (all one building) like these that if someone is interested, they may purchase and turn into a home. Cheap. All concrete. 757-676-7950. Gloucester VA

  17.    Reply

    I have a friend that used the rings of one to make a swimming pool. All you have to do to insulate one would be to spray foam in on the inside or outside even. I could see the big blue Harvestore silos as multilevel homes. Nothing new to us farm boys reusing something no longer used and turning it into something new and useful.. Repurpose Reuse Recycle!

    1.    Reply

      Wow, those sound like an amazing ideas Steve! I really like the idea of creating a pool out of a section of bin. The diameter of these bins are large enough that it would make the perfect sized backyard pool. And yes, hats off to farm-boy ingenuity :)

  18.    Reply

    How are they insulated?

    1.    Reply

      I’m building a bin house in South Dakota you frame the inside with 2×4 or 2×6 just like a regular house then i spray foamed it.also the foam makes it stronger.

      1.   

        The problem I see is that you get curved inner walls made of corrugated steel. Put vertical studs in, sure, but then you need to put a smooth curve into sheets of drywall (not easy to do.) What do you do for curved inner walls?

      2.   

        Where at in South Dakota I am from there

    2.    Reply

      Good question Stan. From our research to date, it looks like most grain bin homes are insulated by using two bins fitted within one another (one slightly smaller than the other) and filling the space between them with an expanding polyurethane foam insulation.

  19.    Reply

    this is awsome where can we get house plane to try one

    1.    Reply

      Hi Karan!

      While plans would probably only be available from builders specializing in grain bin homes, we did find this article which covers the basics of construction. Happy building!
      http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/grain-bin-house-zmaz10aszraw.aspx

  20.    Reply

    These buildings are not grain silos, they are grain bins. A silo is meant to ferment straw and grains for animal feed. A bin is used to store dried grain for later sale. These buildings are made from the latter. Just an FYI.

    1.    Reply

      Thanks for the correction Deb! That is good to note. We feel a little embarrassed now, especially since we are from the prairies and should know this kind of thing 😛

  21.    Reply

    Got any energy ratings for heating and air conditioning one of these homes? Our Silos on the farm are not insulated at all. Right now, metal is more expensive than wood so I would like that you could build a house with a wood frame cheaper.

  22.    Reply

    Wouldn’t they be unbearably hot in the Summer and freeze in the Winter?

  23.    Reply

    I’ve found this one here: http://www.point2homes.com/US/Home-For-Sale/NY/487-Barley-Road/33452905.html

    I think there are more, have a look.

    1.    Reply

      Whoa! Great find Jay. That is one amazing home.

  24.    Reply

    Where can a person get one? What’s it cost to get it moved?

    1.    Reply

      Hi Sandra,

      If you are looking for more information on the TinyHome movement, a great place to start would be at http://tinyhouseblog.com or http://tinyhomes.com – these are both communities dedicated to those who have built or just love tiny homes.

      You might also want to visit http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com – to my knowledge they are the foremost builders of tiny homes in North America and also sell plans so you can construct your own.

      Cheers!

  25.    Reply

    I am very interest in the tiny home movement. Be it recycled lumber, a grain silo…whatever. How can get more info about this sent to me?

    1.    Reply

      Yes I would like to know more about it to

  26.    Reply

    Hi Pat:
    I’m a lover of small spaces and I receive emails from: tinyhousenews.com They have awesome ideas. Every once in awhile they feature the airbnb.com
    rentals and you’d be surprised the things people turn into small homes and charge good rental money for. Check them out and lots of luck. Toni

  27.    Reply

    We have four of these on our family farm. What a great idea. Guest cottage? Rental? Agri-tourism version of bed and breakfast?

  28.    Reply

    This idea is pretty AWESOME!!!!

  29.    Reply

    We are looking into building a silo cottage and would love to talk to the person from Saskatchewan…any way of passing on contact information would be appreciated.

  30.    Reply

    I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE ONE OF THESE!!!
    DOES SOMEONE MAKE THEM TO SELL?

    1.    Reply

      buy one off a farm thats redoing their silos and or off a farm thats bankrupt and have it moved to your land then put it together again and start on the plumming wiring and such

  31.    Reply

    That is too fine! I’d love to live in one…without my kids.

    1.    Reply

      lol ikr..i wanna stick it in the backyard and give the kids the house! lol